As it says on the logo, my name is Myk Price, and I’ll be the new contributing comics reviewer to Four-Color Bullet. My thanks to Gene and Susan for the opportunity, and to my dear friend, Robert, for the recommendation. I’m really looking forward to sharing opinions on as many of the fantastic books, series, one-shots, and graphic novels as I can, both new and classic. Also, I invite all of you to take a moment and suggest some of your favorite titles so that I may share them with everyone.
By way of a little history, I grew up a DC, cape-and-tights, underwear-on-the-outside guy, and I’ve been reading them since … well, let’s just say age five was QUITE a while ago! But in the ensuing years, up to and including my years as a comic book appraiser and comic book store owner, my eyes were opened to many of the various other companies out there. Over time I’ve developed quite an appreciation for what we used to call “alternative titles.” My heart still belongs to DC, and I’ll share my take on some of those as well as some Marvel titles, but the bulk of my focus in this column will be on titles that may not get the same exposure as some of the bigger company titles.
Hhmmm… I just realized that the books I’m discussing today are all DC and Image. I didn’t plan that, and I’ll keep an eye out for that next time, but I think if you’re not following these already, and if you’ll give them a chance, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta #25
Wow! I don’t get swept up in too many stories right out of the gate, but this issue certainly inspired me to go out and find issues 1-24, to be sure! Creator/Writer Robert Kirkman, and artist Paul Azaceta tell a compelling horror story that gave me more than a couple “What the WHAT!!!” moments. The bleak backgrounds add to the story’s suspense. Elizabeth Breitweiser’s color work and Rus Wooton’s lettering really add to making this issue jump off the page for me.
Something else about Mr. Kirkman’s writing I really want to mention: I don’t feel like I’m reading one person putting words into multiple mouths; his characters really seem like different people. Too few writers seem to be able to pull that off, and to me, Kirkman really has a handle on it. The “Darth Vader” moment on the last page gave me a bit of a chuckle, but didn’t take away from the story. This is a great addition to my pull list.
Another spooky horror book. A pretty intense scare that, if you’re into the genre, is a worthwhile read. Gabriel Hardman is the writer and artist for this book. If you’re a fan of his other work on Planet of the Apes, Star Wars: Legacy, or Invisible Republic, you can imagine how well his storytelling would translate to this type of style. In his afterword, Hardman describes The Belfry as “more Motorhead than Mingus,” and I definitely agree. If The Twilight Zone were produced on cable, and had no restrictions on the level of horror, this would make for a fantastic episode.
“Future Quest” #1-10
July, 2016-April, 2017
Johnny Quest! Space Ghost! Birdman! The Herculoids! Frankenstein, Jr.! The Impossibles! Mightor! And More! All together in one series!
How can any Hanna-Barbera or Alex Toth fan NOT love this series? It’s Saturday morning cartoon time all over again, boys and girls! Just the crossing over of these characters makes my inner kid scream with excitement and plead with Mom for another bowl of Cap’n Crunch! There is so much goodness in this series, skillfully written by Jeff Parker. And for the luvva Pete, they got Steve “The Dude” Rude to put his touch of artistic genius on the series! STEVE “THE DUDE” RUDE!!!
Okay, I’m back! Sorry. Bit of a fan.
Evan “Doc” Shaner (covers and interiors,) Ron Randall, Jonathan Case, Arron Lopresti, the ever-awesome Karl Kesel, and Craig Rousseau all do a phenomenal job in bringing these characters to life and really keep the story moving. Time travel stories can always be a bit touchy, depending on your take on the theory, but this one’s really good. It’s pretty cool to get some background on some of these characters after so many years. And you know what? Who would ever think that Race Bannon WOULDN’T have made a fantastic member of the Space Force?
DC Universe Rebirth
Superman Volume 1: Son of Superman Trade Paperback
I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive about this, as it would definitely challenge who Superman was “supposed to be” as far as I was concerned. We all have our vision of characters with whom we grew up. Whenever that was, whatever that character was doing, THAT’S who the character is, how they’re supposed to act, what they do, and so on. All subsequent incarnations will be compared to that version. MY Superman was never married to Lois, but they did date now and again. The Superman stories I knew were written by Cary Bates, and Elliot S! Maggin, and rendered by Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson, Neal Adams, or Juan Luis Garcia-Lopez. Outside of those 1970s World’s Finest stories with Superman, Jr. and Batman, Jr., and we KNEW THOSE were imaginary stories, “son” ONLY applied to Kal-El, the “Last Son of Krypton.”
Now we have this.
I’m still getting my head around which Superman is interacting with which deceased Superman’s universe: the Bronze Age, Pre-or-Post-Crisis, New 52, or what. I obviously have more back issues to read and series’ to complete, but in and of itself, I was very pleased with the storyline. It strikes me that in Jon, we could get the chance to see what Clark may have had to experience between issues that we readers weren’t privy to years ago. Lois so much as makes that point in the story; with she and Clark, Jon has the best of both worlds (human and Kryptonian.) Jon’s experience with Goldie must be something any of the incarnations of Clark must have experienced at one point or another. That said, I hope the new creators feel free to sidestep bringing Larry Niven’s theorems of Superboy to the comic pages!
The Eradicator is the villain of this story arc, and though I’ve never been a fan, writers Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason use him in a way that’s powerful and a little scary. The characterization was such that I wouldn’t mind seeing it again. And Bat-Mom! And Krypto. Ah, Krypto! That’s a good dog! Lots of credit to Mr. Gleason, along with Doug Mahnke, Jorge Jimenez, Mick Gray, and Jaime Mendoza.
I liked it. I’m going to keep reading it.
Alright! I think I’m going to call it a night. Thank you for sifting through my missives, and I look forward to hearing YOUR opinions and your suggestions for books to review. Looking forward to seeing you here online, or wandering through a southern California comic shop some Wednesday afternoon. Until next time: